Binghamton (3-26) vs. Stony Brook (23-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 9, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: SEFCU Arena (4,538) -- Albany, New York. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Binghamton 2-12, Stony Brook 11-1. Away Record: Binghamton 1-14, Stony Brook 12-5. Neutral Record: Binghamton 0-0, Stony Brook 0-0. Conference Record: Binghamton 1-15, Stony Brook 14-2. Series Record: Stony Brook leads, 31-25.
GAMES NOTES: The Stony Brook Seawolves will take their first step towards their first-ever America East Conference Tournament crown when they play in a first round matchup with the Binghamton Bearcats at SEFCU Arena.
It was another miserable year for Binghamton. The Bearcats finished a conference worst 3-26 overall, while managing just one win in 16 bouts against fellow America East squads. It marks the third-straight season in which the Bearcats have failed to reach double-digit wins and their ninth losing season in their 12 years at the Division I level. Binghamton did grab a conference championship during its surprising 2009 season but has been nowhere near that level since.
Meanwhile Stony Brook rode to a conference best 23-6 record overall as well as the regular season title and No. 1 seed in the tournament with a mark of 14-2 in league play. The Seawolves have had at least 22 wins in three of the last four seasons but have never managed to ascend to the America East Tournament throne. Stony Brook rolls into this contest with wins in its last six games.
Stony Brook blasted Binghamton in both meetings this season with each victory coming by at least 25 points. The Seawolves have now won six-straight against the Bearcats to take a 31-25 lead in the all-time series. The winner of this tilt will go on to play the victor between Albany and Maine in the second round.
Binghamton had another tough night on the offensive end in the regular season finale. The Bearcats managed to connect on just 33.9 percent of their shots from the floor while being outscored, 36-18, from beyond the arc in the 59-49 setback.
Jordan Reed (16.7 ppg, 9.6 rpg) has been the one and only bright spot for the Bearcats this season. Despite shooting just 38.9 percent from the field the 6- foot-4 guard was tied with Maine's Justin Edwards for the league lead in points scored while actually topping the conference in rebounds. Reed really did his best to pick up some momentum for the Bearcats down the stretch as he had a double-double in five of the last six games. Jimmy Gray (10.5 ppg) shoots at just a 36.2 percent clip but is the only other player on the squad scoring in double figures. Despite Reed's efforts the Bearcats are the worst offensive team in the conference, ranking last in points (56.1 pg), assists (8.3 pg) and field-goal percentage (.371) with each of those marks among the 10 worst nationally.
Stony Brook closed out its regular-season finale against Albany with an 11-5 run to earn a 75-70 victory. Carson Purifoy came off the bench to score a team-high 17 points in the setback and the Seawolves shot better than 60 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes.
Not only are these teams on the opposite end of the standings but the league rankings offensively. The Seawolves top the conference in points (68.3 ppg) while ranking in the top three in assists (12.5 ppg) and field-goal percentage (.441). The Seawolves aren't just an offensive force though as they rank in the top 15 nationally in points allowed (57.1 pg) and opponent field-goal percentage (.374). On top of all of that the Seawolves are also the league leaders in rebounds (38.4 pg). Jameel Warney (12.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg) has been sensational in completing 62.4 percent of his shots from the floor to lead three players in double figures. Tommy Brenton (8.9 ppg, 8.7 rpg) hasn't needed to score as much, but is leading the way on the glass.
There aren't many areas of weakness for the Seawolves who really excel in all phases. That type of balance will be far too much for Binghamton to handle.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Stony Brook 70, Binghamton 55
03/09 10:44:43 ET